Allyson Felix, Usain Bolt, 2012 IAAF World Athletes of the Year, photo by Giancarlo Columbo/PhotoRun.net, and courtesy of IAAF Media Dept.
The weekend of festivities celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IAAF, in 1912, was a celebration of all things good with our sport. Allyson Felix and Usain Bolt were named athletes of the year in a year so competitive that hurdle great Sally Pearson and double London gold Mo Farah were not included in the final three candidates.
The celebration of Aries Merritt as the Most Inspirational (12.80 WR for 110m hurdles), Female Performance of the Year (USA 4 x 100m WR team, Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight, Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter), and Male Performance of the Year (David Rudisha), celebrated all that is good in the present. The future: Look to Antonique Strachan, who won the 100m and 200m at the World Juniors, and Keshorn Walcott, the young man who won the World Juniors, then, the London Olympics, giving Trinidad its second gold medal ever, and Ato Boldon, Trinidad's first gold medalist, the shock of his life.
Celebrating the past, the IAAF instituted their Athlete Hall of Fame. In the first class were many who had not lived to see the Hall of Fame. There were 24 living Hall of Famers, criteria being a world record setter, Olympic or World Champion, out of competition for a decade. (Sadly, 91 year old Harrison Dillard, who had golds in 1948 (100m), and 1952 (110m), but never set a world record, can be be part of the Hall of Fame).
Celebrating the present, past and future of the sport, the IAAF has to be congratulated for the several days of festivities! Watch for more interviews and comments to come.
First Class of the IAAF Hall of Fame,
photo by Phillipe Fitte, for the IAAF Media Department